This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
American officials say that a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan walked off a base in the predawn hours this morning and began shooting at civilian homes in the southern province of Kandahar. Initial reports say 15 civilians are dead, including women and children. Relations between the United States and Afghanistan had been slowly returning to normal after last month's accidental burning of the Quran at an American military base. But this morning's news may erase that progress.
Japan is remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis a year ago today. At 2:46 P.M. local time, trains stopped, sirens blared, and people across Japan bowed their heads in silence. But one year on, rebuilding has not even begun on much of the country's devastated northeast coast.
And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports, the fishing town of Minamisanriku is still too early for most of the wounds to heal.
(SOUNDBITE OF A BELL AND A CHANTING BUDDHIST MONK)
Achim Aretz holds the Guinness World Record for running the half marathon, backward. But now, the 27-year-old German athlete says he's tired of doing something almost no one else does and wants to head in a new direction. Reporter Caitlan Carroll caught up with him in Hannover, Germany.