This week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing his resignation, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed America's top concerns during his state of the union address and CBCNews.ca went backcountry skiing to bring you a story about the risks many Canadians are taking when they duck under ski slope ropes.
Here are five stories from CBCNews.ca you may have missed.
Pope Benedict XVI resigns
On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, shocking the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and leaving many wondering who will replace him.
Benedict, 85, said he is stepping down as his strength wanes.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the Pope said.
The Vatican said a conclave of cardinals will choose his replacement by mid-March.
“Benedict XVI's announcement couldn't have been better scripted. Two days before Lent, Christianity's 40-day season of penitential reflection, the Pope announced he's quitting his job, with a new pope promised by Easter, the day of resurrection,” journalist Michael Valpy writes.
- Read the story: Michael Valpy: A tired Pope, a divided church
Obama’s delivers state of the union address
U.S. President Barack Obama is “a man who wants to be an activist in his second term ‘without adding to the deficit by a single dime,’” the CBC’s senior Washington correspondent Neil Macdonald writes.
Obama delivered a state of the union address on Tuesday night that touched on a range of issues from gun control to health care to climate change. But while the president floated several grand ideas, Macdonald said it will be hard for him to turn them into reality.
“Gone is all that first term hope-and-change rhetoric … in its place stands a man trying to live up to the progressive expectations he once raised, and trying to govern a nation that is notoriously difficult to govern.”
- Read the story: Neil Macdonald: Obama dekes right, test-driving a new agenda
Canadian skiers risk it all on backcountry slopes
On B.C.’s towering mountains, skiers, boarders and snowmobilers are searching for fresh powder, and many are venturing into backcountry terrain to find it, the CBC’s Evan Mitsui reports.
"If you can't get fresh snow at a resort, the message is: step out of bounds to get it," said John Irvine, director of sports marketing for Mountain Equipment Co-op, one of Canada's largest outdoor equipment retailers.
While experienced backcountry skiers have always sought fresh snow, ducking under ski hill ropes has proven dangerous for some. The biggest risk, Mitsui reports, is avalanches.
- Read the story: Popularity of backcountry skiing worries some in industry
Tibetan anger with China behind self-immolations
Since 2009, 100 Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire to protest against China.
“Far from provoking a national reflection on what life under Chinese rule is like for Tibetans, this wave of self-immolations has met with a predictable reaction from Chinese authorities,” journalist Patrick Brown writes.
“It consists of a propaganda campaign accusing the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of instigating the protest, as well as ever-tighter security measures, including harsh prison sentences for those accused of abetting the suicides, or trying to stop police from seizing the remains.”
- Read the story: Patrick Brown: Tibet's epidemic of self-immolation
In defence of odd couples
Valentine’s Day always shines a bright light on those “perfect-looking” couples, but CBCNews.ca reporter Fabiola Carletti found odd couples are much more common.
Dr. Blake Woodside, a professor in the psychiatry department at the University of Toronto, calls those perfectly in sync couples "heavenly twins."
"They’re about five per cent of couples, but they’re held up as the ideal," Woodside said.
More common are odd couples, who, as Carletti writes: “have their differences but, like interwoven fingers, manage to create a firm lock.”
- Read the story: In romance, odd couples more common than perfect pairs