5 Things to Know This Morning

PHOTO: Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims in St. Peters Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI greeted the Catholic masses in St. Peters Square Wednesday for the last time before retiring.AP Photo/Michael Sohn
Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

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

1. Benedict XVI Begins Final Day as Pope

Pope Benedict XVI spent his last night in the Vatican apartment he's lived in for the past eight years on Wednesday night. After saying goodbye to the Cardinals at about 1 p.m. local time, the pope will depart by helicopter to the Vatican retreat Castle Gandolfo.

2. Anchorwoman Home Safe After Scare

ABC News' Santa Barbara affiliate anchor Paula Lopez was reported missing by her family Wednesday morning. She was later found safe inside her home Wednesday night.

3. Caroline Kennedy Next Ambassador to Japan? Caroline Kennedy is a top contender to become the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan, according to reports from Bloomberg News. Two people familiar to the situation say that President Obama has reportedly signed off on the nomination but that vetting is not yet complete.

4. Rodman Kicks Off "Goodwill" Trip to N. Korea

NBA star Dennis Rodman has kicked off a week-long "goodwill" trip to North Korea with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

5. Panda-Themed Hotel Opens in China

A panda-themed hotel in Southwest China will open in May. It is believed to be the first hotel of its kind in the world, with staff dressing up as pandas.