Five things mark out Wednesday's attack in south-east London in which a serving soldier was hacked to death by two assailants outside of an army barracks:
In the jargon on counter-terrorism this attack was not "networked", or rather there is no need for a network in this type of event. The perpetrators do not have to receive bomb-making training in Pakistan as the 7/7 ringleaders did, nor do they actually need any type of support group.
After two years of brutal civil war in Syria there is growing support in Washington for the US taking some action.
The question of what to do about Syria's civil war has rumbled away in this city's foreign policy establishment for the past two years, without reaching any sort of conclusion or touching off military intervention, but in recent weeks the ground has been shifting.
Statements by UN investigator Carla del Ponte that she had, "strong, concrete suspicions, but not yet incontrovertible proof" that Syrian rebels may have used the nerve gas sarin have produced some interesting responses.
They are reminiscent of some earlier conflicts where those who sought engagement on one side or the other wanted to portray the protagonists in simple good-versus-evil terms.
In 2010 the British government designated the protection of computer networks as one of the country's most important national security priorities. In its Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) it pledged, "the National Cyber Security Programme will be supported by £650m of new investment over the next four years".
What exactly has this investment bought, three years on?
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: The debate about who spilt blood in this city and why they might have done it continues - but we should not be surprised, indeed there are still arguments about who fired first at Lexington Green in 1775, triggering the American Revolution.
And actually there is a message in what happened here centuries ago about people believing the truths they choose to.
At this week's upcoming international conference in Rome, the US and UK will try to reassure the main Syrian opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), that further aid is on its way and insist the West has not abandoned the anti-Assad cause.
The Rome meeting, which the SNC had threatened to boycott, comes at a moment of real uncertainty for the opposition.
BRUSSELS - The latest European Union budget summit has brought that well-worn narrative of Britain versus France back into play, but there are fascinating signs of a more emotive battle going on beneath the surface.
That sub-text was less about whether the union's next seven-year budget would end up at euro 913bn or the euro 908bn eventually agreed, a small difference rendered even less significant when one considers that it is dwarfed by what national governments spend, but concerned whether UK Prime Minister David Cameron's recent call for reform - and re-negotiating UK membership - had gained wider traction.
Israel's unacknowledged air strike against Syria was most likely intended as a warning against the Assad regime lest it be tempted to transfer advanced weapons to its allies in the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
It is one more sign of an alarming deterioration of the security situation across the Middle East.
David Cameron's explicit rejection of the idea of "ever closer union" with the words, "for Britain - and perhaps for others - it is not the objective," may prove to be the most historically significant part in his long awaited Europe speech.
Why? When the UK has so often been the European Union's one nation "awkward squad". Doesn't the series of opt outs it has negotiated make this position quite obvious?
HANNOVER, GERMANY: At a campaign gathering held by Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) a garrulous man slapped me on the shoulder and asked, "How does this compare with your Conservative Party?" It was a knowing question, delivered with wink.
The CDU drive to get their man, David McAllister, re-elected to run the state government of Lower Saxony, is well funded, confident (despite the closeness of opinion polls) and united on the question of Europe.
I recently made some documentaries about the experiences of British tank crews during World War II and in particular a group of men who fought all the way through that terrible conflict - the "tankies" from The Fifth Royal Tank Regiment, also known as the Filthy Fifth.
Both sides in the Gaza fighting are turning their minds to digesting the lessons of this short, sharp, campaign. For the Israeli government, anxious to dismiss the impression that it has not been humiliated by Hamas, much emphasis is being placed on the success of its Iron Dome defence system.
According to figures released by the Israeli defence ministry these new anti-missile batteries opened up 573 times, knocking down 421 out of 1,506 missiles fired from Gaza.
The firing on Thursday of two Fajr-5 missiles from Gaza towards Tel Aviv, followed on Friday by the targeting of Jerusalem with an as yet unidentified rocket type, is a potent sign of altered strategic realities in the Middle East.
It may also prove to have been a new milestone on the road away from a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and towards perpetual instability in the region.
The fall of David Petraeus, director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the general who successfully commanded America's troop surge in Iraq during 2007-8 is a modern morality tale, even if it did arise from one of the most ancient human failings, marital infidelity.
There are many things about it that have attracted comment from US columnists to the blogosphere: that he oversaw such controversial and costly wars but should ultimately fall on a matter of personal behaviour; that President Barack Obama was not apparently informed until election day that Gen Petraeus was under investigation by the FBI; and that the issue is now drawing in more people, including General John Allen, who replaced Gen Petraeus as the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The desire of Britain's government to speed its withdrawal from Afghanistan is being tempered by requests from commanders to maintain their current strength until the end of the 2013 summer "fighting season".
This debate has mirrored the wider one in the US about whether the pace of withdrawal could go faster still.
A near continuous belt of real estate developments, resorts and marinas stretches along the Mediterranean coast for at least one hundred miles to the west of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.
The scale of it is staggering: tens of thousands of apartments were bought here during the better economic times of the late Nineties and early 2000s, tens of thousands remain unsold, and in other places as you drive further along this Riviera, the outlines of new gated developments have been laid out but the ground remained unbroken as money and consumer confidence dried up.
Mark has covered diplomatic and defence matters for more than 20 years at the BBC.
His major stories have included: the 1990 invasion of Iraq and subsequent Desert Storm campaign; the collapse of the Soviet Union; the Oslo peace process in the Middle East; the wars that broke out in the former Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s as well as the diplomacy that stopped them; the Second Palestinian Intifada; 9/11 and its aftermath; the Coalition campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the Arab Spring.
Before joining the BBC as a reporter he was Defence correspondent for The Independent newspaper for four years, covering the end of the Cold War and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.
He is also the author of several books on military matters, both current and historical. Mark read International Relations at the London School of Economics and served for a short time in the British Army.
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