April 12th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, Japan reactor update, and African Americans moving from the North to the South. In the second hour, how doping allegations affect legacy in sports, and re-enactors of the Civil War.
NPR logo April 12th Show

April 12th Show

Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds waves to the crowd before throwing out the first pitch before a National League Championship Series game in October of 2010. Bonds is currently being tried for perjury, charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury in 2003 about steroid use. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

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Eric Risberg/AP

Japan Reactor Update
Japanese authorities have raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant to level seven, the highest possible. Host Neal Conan talks with NPR science correspondent Richard Harris about the condition of the reactors, the risks of aftershocks and the comparison between this crisis and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the only previous level seven event in history.

New Great Migration
The 2010 census reveals a sweeping trend of African Americans moving from the North to the South and from cities into suburbs. Job opportunities and a lower cost of living are part of the appeal, but the shift is also motivated by an historical and cultural appeal to the once-segregated homelands that previous generations fled. Host Neal Conan talks with William Frey about the demographic shift across the country, and with guests about the historical, political and sociocultural implications.

Doping And Legacy In Sports
A California jury is weighing evidence in the trial of Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice. Bonds is accused of lying to a grand jury that investigated the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative. Bonds said he never knowingly used banned drugs. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins Neal Conan for the latest in that trial. And Bicycling Magazine editor-at-large Bill Strickland explains why he changed his mind about allegations that Lance Armstrong has used performance enhancing drugs.

Civil War Re-Enactors
On this day 150 years ago, the Civil War began, as the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter — and re-enactors from across the nation are gearing up to act out the battles. Each year, history buffs spend time and money to dress in vintage-style military uniforms, wield replica rifles and put on shows to educate the public about what really took place on the battlefields. Neal Conan talks with a re-enactor about the hobby and the importance of re-creating the Civil War.