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In many ways, parenting newborns seems instinctual.

We see a little baby, and we want to hold her. Snuggle and kiss her. Even just her smell seems magical.

Many of us think breast-feeding is similar.

"I had that idea before my first child was born," says Brooke Scelza, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Los Angeles, California. "I definitely thought, 'Oh, I'm going to figure that out. Like how hard can it be?' "

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So Senate Republicans, it would appear, have their work cut out for them this week.

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Chinese authorities have granted dissident Liu Xiaobo medical parole, freeing the Nobel Peace Prize winner from prison because he has terminal liver cancer. Liu, 61, is being allowed to seek treatment in a hospital outside of prison.

"According to his lawyer, Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer while in prison last month," NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Hong Kong. "[He] is being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang."

Ladi Adaikwu's top-shelf merchandise is hidden in a mud-brick shed in a warren of narrow alleyways in Angwan-Dodo, a farming village close to Nigeria's capital city Abuja. The steel door is secured with a heavy padlock, and when she opens it, a shaft of light cuts through the damp darkness to reveal what looks like a knee-high pile of narrow, dirt-encrusted footballs.

But don't be fooled by their humble appearance: These are high-quality yams, and around here they're as good as gold.

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It's summer vacation season and many families will be lucky enough to be heading off for at least a few days. At least half of parents say quality time together is the most important reason to take a family vacation, according to a national survey by the rental car company Alamo.

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We're going to bring another voice into the conversation now - NPR health policy correspondent Alison Kodjak.

Alison, what did you hear in that interview just now?

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