The plight of the Al-Jazeera three has focused the spotlight on the dark side of the Egyptian regime, including the case of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa.
For the Saudis, Iran - not Islamic State - is the greatest danger in the Middle East. So nuclear détente between Iran and the US will not be cost-free.
Graffiti sprayed last year on the ruins of Cyrene, in Libya, reads: "Destroy the Idols". Islamists, including Islamic State militants, see such pre-Islamic structures as sacrilege.
If Tony Blair was ever considered an honest broker as Middle East envoy, it is a title he may well have lost - even if most of what has gone wrong is not his fault.
A day of bloodshed on Israel's border with Lebanon and Syria leaves two Israeli soldiers and one UN peacekeeper dead and raises fears of a conflict between the IDF and Hezbollah.
Three journalists, including one Australian, will face a retrial after serving one year of a sentence under controversial charges. The families of the men say there is still "a long road ahead".
Three Al Jazeera journalists including one Briton have been in prison for a year today. As the world seems to get ever more dangerous for journalists, there are hopes of an appeal in the courts.
Expect Gen Dempsey and many other voices to grow louder in the coming weeks that more must be done with ground forces if IS is to be dislodged.