The Brattleboro Reformer has many colleagues around the country producing news for our "sister" papers. The Daily DFM is a "top picks" of today's national news. Consider it a collection of "things you should know, today."

1. Worldwide travel alert issued by State Department due to al-Qaida threat

Digital First Media and wire reports

The United States has issued a global travel alert because of an al-Qaida terrorist threat.

The State Department says the potential for terrorism is particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa. It says an attack could occur or come from the Arabian Peninsula.

The department says in a statement that al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations "continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond."

The travel alert comes a day after the U.S. announced that it would shutter its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world on Sunday, and possibly longer.

View image on Twitter

Here is the State Department's worldwide travel alert.

2. A beach planned under Brooklyn Bridge

By Francesca Trianni, REUTERS

A rendering released on July 31 of the beach under Brooklyn Bridge which would be constructed as part of the Manhattan waterfront "Blueway" plan, which calls for providing access to the water from the northern tip of Manhattan to Battery Park. (/)

Manhattan, an island with miles of waterfront, will finally get its own beach.

Just minutes from Wall Street, the Empire State Building and other landmarks that define New York City, a playground of sand and surf will be created out of a strip of fenced-off wasteland in the southern tip of the island.

The $7 million Brooklyn Bridge Beach plan, whose details were unveiled on Thursday, covers 11,000 square feet area under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, at the mouth of the East River.

One caveat is the sewage-tainted water, which most New Yorkers consider too polluted to swim in.

"We're embracing the great power of our rivers," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said as she announced the plan's funding, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

"Our rivers were part of what made us the greatest city in the world and now we are reclaiming them for economic development and for recreation, but also for protection."

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3. Look at this crazy little talking robot (VIDEO)

By Karen Workman - Digital First Media

Kirobo is a little robot who talks, moves and is going to outer space. His mission? Help create a society where humans and robots co-exist.

Kirobo - which is a mashup of the Japanese word "Kibo" for hope, and "robot" - will be launched into outer space on Aug. 4. He's headed for the International Space Station, where he'll keep astronauts company.

The Japanese robot was produced with support from Toyota Motor Corp.

"Toyota chose to participate ... because we are trying to help create a society where humans and robots co-exist," said Fuminori Kataoka, project general manager from Toyota, of the robot.

Kirobo the robot with Fuminori Kataoka of Toyota.

Humanoid communication robot Kirobo, left, talks with Fuminori Kataoka, project general manager from Toyota Motor Corp., during a press unveiling in Tokyo Wednesday, June 26, 2013. ((Shizuo Kambayashi/AP))

4. War museum honors Bob Hope, who made troops laugh

By Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press

Comedian Bob Hope entertains sailors of the U.S. 6th Fleet Saratoga at the flagship's anchorage in the southern Italian port of Gaeta, in this Dec. 19, 1970 photo. Hope is on his annual United Service Organizations (USO) tour to entertain Americans serving overseas. Hope, beloved actor and comedian, who died 10 years ago at age 100, is being celebrated at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, where the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum has brought the Bob Hope: An American Treasure traveling exhibition. The exhibit officially opens Saturday Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo, File)

NEW ORLEANS - Bob Hope entertained 11 presidents at the White House, hosted the Academy Awards 19 times and told thousands of jokes to some 10 million U.S. troops over the course of four wars.

Now the long life and legacy of the beloved actor and comedian, who died 10 years ago at age 100, is being celebrated at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, where the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum has brought the "Bob Hope: An American Treasure" traveling exhibition.

More than 160 mementos from Hope's life capture his passion for golf, relationships with presidents, pride in his country and appreciation for military service. The exhibit officially opens to the public Saturday, though a soft opening will be held Friday during regular museum hours.

The exhibit includes vintage photographs of Hope entertaining troops at USO shows overseas, an honorary Oscar statuette and PGA of America money clip. But the highlight is Hope's jokes, which are printed on displays and included in video clips throughout the exhibit.

"It was important to make it funny," said Jack Peter, senior vice president of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, who was in New Orleans for the opening. "That was one of the requests of the family."

The National World War II museum holds a grand opening celebration for the Solomon Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and the American Sector in this Nov. 6, 2009 photo. The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum has brought the "Bob Hope: An American Treasure" traveling exhibition to New Orleans. It opens Saturday Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Judi Bottoni, File)

And funny it is.

"I left England when I found out I couldn't be king" is the Hope quote in the section of the exhibit about his immigration

5. Michigan woman traces lineage to Putney, will hold grave dedication on Aug. 10

By DOMENIC POLI / Reformer Staff

Old North Burial Grounds in Putney. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)

PUTNEY -- The ceremony slated for the Old North Burying Ground on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 10, is meant as a grave dedication. But for Sandra Sawyer Bateman, it also will serve as a family reunion of sorts.

The Michigan resident has done some genealogical research and learned her family's history stretches throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. One of her ancestors, she discovered, was a great-great-great-grandmother named Laura Elvira Roberts (née Moore), whose father had fought in the Revolutionary War. She joined the Brattleboro chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a group for women directly descended from a person involved in the United States' fight for independence, in 1900 shortly before she died.

Bateman, who hails from Seattle, has helped organize a grave dedication service, set to begin at 11 a.m., and has lined up a Boy Scout troop from Townshend for a flag presentation and a recital of The Pledge of Allegiance. Individuals from Bateman's DAR chapter will read an invocation, a benediction, some prayers and Roberts' biography. There will also be a DAR plaque laid at Roberts' grave.

Bateman said she also welcomes other organizations -- such as chapters of Sons of the American Revolution -- to attend the dedication. She and members of her DAR chapter will fly to New England; she and her husband plan to make a two-week trip out of it.

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