Show rundown for 12/17/200743:44
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The Taste of Conquest

Spice is more than something used to flavor food, in fact, empires were built through the spice trade. We speak with Michael Krondl about his book, "The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice".

BLUE CHRISTMAS FOR RETAILERS?

With one week to go before Christmas Eve, we look at how low holiday shopping, combined with rising energy prices and the housing slump are affecting the economy. Some economists say there's a 50-50 chance, that the U.S. could slip into a recession, but today President Bush said the key economic underpinnings remain strong. Our guest is Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody's Economy.com.

FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEMS

The Army is working on a 200-billion-dollar project to make its forces lighter and more agile. It involves robots, drones and missiles that can change direction. We speak to Washington Post reporter Alec Klein, who has been covering the project, and with Retired Army Major General Robert Scales, who was instrumental in getting the project started and is still involved.

POLITICS UPDATE

Mitt Romney gets teary on television about civil rights, Hillary Clinton bats away questions about Barack Obama's experience, and John McCain picks up four major newspaper endorsements. We speak with Mark Halperin, Editor-at-large and senior political analyst at Time and political analyst for ABC News.

THE 5 BROWNS

The 5 Browns: sibling pianists Ron, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae are Utah born, Mormon-raised and Juilliard trained and they perform and record together. Their first two CDs topped the classical music charts. We speak to them about their latest work, "Browns in Blue."

This program aired on December 17, 2007.

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