Ashley Westerman

Ashley Westerman is an assistant producer with Morning Edition and occasionally directs the show. Since joining the staff in June 2015, she has helped produce coverage of all sorts of notable happenings — including the European migrant crisis and the 2016 presidential campaign. Ashley convinced the show to cover a coal mine closing near her hometown. Ages ago (2011) Ashley was a summer intern with Morning Edition and pitched a story on her very first day. She went on to work as reporter and host for member station 89.3 WRKF in Baton Rouge, La., where she earned awards covering everything from health care to jambalaya. Ashley is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists. Through its programs, she has covered labor issues in her home country of the Philippines for NPR and health care in Appalachia for Voice of America. She tweets @NPRAshley.

The Philippine Congress has extended martial law on the southern island of Mindanao for another year at the request of President Rodrigo Duterte, who says it is needed to continue the fight against armed groups in the region.

The move was overwhelmingly approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives, where Duterte and his allies hold big majorities. Duterte first imposed martial law in the Muslim-dominated south in May, and Wednesday's vote extends it through 2018.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution last week condemning "the ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by that country's military.

The way people perceive their country's economic conditions plays a big role in whether they view their lives more positively now compared with the past, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

"Fear is something constant," says Monovithya Kem, the daughter of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha. "I can say that although we have always faced a security and safety risk, you don't get accustomed to fear."

One of Cambodia's major English-language newspapers will close this week because it is unable to pay what the government says it owes in back taxes.

A respected English-language newspaper in Cambodia may close because it won't be able to pay an enormous tax bill the government claims it owes by Sept. 4.

The Cambodia Daily was slapped with a $6.3 million tax bill last month, after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered an investigation into private organizations operating in the country. The paper, founded in 1993, was given the deadline to come up with the millions the government said it owed from back taxes accrued over the last 10 years.

There's a new big man on campus at Louisiana State University — and he's a cat.

It's Mike the Tiger, the LSU Tigers' live mascot.

The 11-month-old Siberian-Bengal mix officially replaced Mike VI late last month — just in time for the start of school and football season. LSU plays its first game against Brigham Young University on Saturday.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A recent string of violent episodes in Southeast Asian countries sheds some light on the challenges facing this region as it grapples with extremism.

In Indonesia last month, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Jakarta bus station. The attack was linked to an ISIS-affiliated group.

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