5 Things to Know This Morning

PHOTO: Pope Benedict XVI delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) speech from the central loggia of St. Peters Basilica, at the Vatican, Dec. 25, 2012.

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.

1. Pope Benedict XVI to Resign

Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign Feb. 28, saying his role requires "both strength of mind and body." The pope's decision makes him the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years. A conclave to elect a new pope will take place before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced the decision to resign in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

2. Apparent Tornado Causes Damage in Mississippi

An apparent tornado has caused significant damage in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, according to emergency officials. The storm caused major damage to the University of Southern Mississippi campus and is likely to stretch into Fat Tuesday in southeast Louisiana.

3. LA Manhunt Causes Lowe's Evacuation

A Lowe's in California was evacuated during an investigation of a reported sighting of fugitive ex-cop Chris Dorner over the weekend. The sighting was later found to be a false alarm. A one million dollar reward for information leading to his capture was announced Sunday.

4. Cruise Ship Stranded In Gulf

A Carnival cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico some 477 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas after an engine room fire broke out Sunday morning. The fire was extinguished and no injuries were reported though the ship has lost power and is relying on a back-up generator.

5. Many Without Power Following Blizzard

Life is slowly returning to normal for most New Englanders after a massive blizzard this weekend, though many remain without power. The storm slammed parts of the northeast with up to 3 feet of snow and has been blamed for 15 deaths in the region and Canada.

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