The past year has been a series of tumultuous news stories, from the massive migration crisis, and war and terror those migrants are fleeing, to historic images of faraway Pluto, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling supporting same-sex marriage, and widespread protests about continued inequality. Today’s list of news photos is just the start, the top 25 of the year. Tomorrow’s entry will be the first in a longer, more comprehensive, three-part ‘Year in Photos.’
Migrants are escorted through fields by police as they are walked from the village of Rigonce to Brezice refugee camp on October 23, 2015, in Rigonce, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II. The United Nations estimates that more than 750,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe this year, fleeing violence, poverty, and insecurity in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty
A paramilitary police officer investigates the scene before carrying the lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi from the seashore, near the beach resort of Bodrum, Turkey, on September 2, 2015. Kurdî's family had fled Syria, boarding a small inflatable boat on a Turkish beach, headed to the Greek island of Kos, reportedly trying to reach Canada eventually. The boat capsized in the early morning, and Aylan, his brother Galib, and mother Rehana all drowned. Photographs of Aylan’s small lifeless body quickly spread around the world on social media and news outlets, stoking many debates, such as: Who was ultimately responsible for the situation, was it appropriate (or necessary) to publish an image of a dead child, and what can be done to prevent such tragedies in the future. The International Organization of Migration reports that more than 3,400 migrants are known to have died or gone missing while trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2015.
Smoke and ash rise from the Calbuco volcano as seen from the city of Puerto Montt, on April 22, 2015. The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted for the first time in more than five decades, sending a thick plume of ash and smoke several kilometers into the sky.
Sergio Candia / Reuters
German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with U.S. president Barack Obama at Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 8, 2015 during the G-7 summit.
Michaek Kappeler / AP
The British comedian known as Lee Nelson (unseen) throws banknotes at FIFA President Sepp Blatter as he arrives for a news conference after the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 20, 2015. World football's troubled governing body FIFA will vote for a new president, to replace Sepp Blatter, at a special congress to be held on February 26 in Zurich.
Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Kentucky, on September 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refused to issue marriage licenses. Days later, Davis was summoned to the U.S. District Court in Kentucky for a hearing, then jailed for contempt of court. She was released five days later with an order to not interfere with the efforts of her deputy clerks in the issuing of marriage licenses.
Timothy D. Easley / AP
Rea Carey (left) kisses her wife Margaret Conway after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2015.
Joshua Roberts / Reuters
A bleached “bathtub ring” is visible on the rocky banks of Lake Powell on March 28, 2015, in Lake Powell, Utah. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average flow of water is expected to enter Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the two biggest reservoirs of the Colorado River Basin. At the time, Lake Powell was at 45 percent of capacity.
Justin Sullivan / Getty
A wounded Syrian girl stands in a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of Syria’s capital of Damascus, following shelling and air raids by Syrian government forces on August 22, 2015. At least 20 civilians were killed, and another 200 wounded or trapped in Douma, a monitoring group said. Just six days after regime airstrikes killed more than 100 people and sparked international condemnation of one of the bloodiest government attacks in Syria's long war.
Abd Doumany / AFP / Getty
Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains of Pluto, extending to the horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. To the right, east of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers. The backlighting highlights over a dozen layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) from Pluto.
NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday, July 10, 2015, ending its 54-year presence there. The flag’s presence at the Capitol had been controversial for decades, and the effort to remove it was given a jolt following the June 17 massacre at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African Americans, reportedly hoping to spark a race war.
John Bazemore / AP
A woman walks past a woman who poses for tips wearing body paint and underwear in Times Square in New York, on August 18, 2015. New York city officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio were considering measures to curtail the activity, according to local media.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Emergency rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher after Dharara tower collapsed on April 25, 2015, in Kathmandu, Nepal. More than 9,000 people died after two major earthquakes hit Nepal in April and May, the largest measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. The quakes caused buildings to collapse and avalanches to be triggered in the Himalayas.
Omar Havana / Getty
A protester wears a mask made from a leaf in the Cibitoke neighbourhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, on May 5, 2015. Protesters in Burundi dismissed a constitutional court ruling that cleared President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a controversial third term, as the government offered to release activists if deadly demonstrations stopped.
Phil Moore / AFP / Getty
A migrant falls with a child, after being tripped by TV camerawoman Petra Laszlo as he tried to escape from a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, on September 8, 2015. Laszlo was fired for her actions, including video of her kicking another migrant child, seen worldwide on social media. She later said her life was ruined, and that she planned to sue Facebook for fueling the hatred toward her.
Marko Djurica / Reuters
A U.S. soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow Soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany on February 24, 2015.
Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston / U.S. Army
Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray on April 27, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, who was arrested on April 12th for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty
Residents clean streets as law enforcement officers stand guard on April 28, 2015, in Baltimore, in the aftermath of rioting following Monday's funeral of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody.
Matt Rourke / AP
A man holds a giant pencil as he takes part in a citizens solidarity march of hundreds of thousands of French people (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris on January 11, 2015. French citizens were joined by dozens of foreign leaders, among them Arab and Muslim representatives, in an unprecedented tribute victims following the shootings by gunmen at the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the hostage taking at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes.
Stephane Mahe / Reuters
A victim of a terrorist attack lies dead outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, November 13, 2015. Seven people with bombs, automatic weapons, and suicide vests attacked several locations in Paris, killing 130 people. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attacks, France's deadliest violence since World War II.
Jerome Delay / AP
A man carries two children after panic broke out among mourners who paid their respects at the attack sites at restaurant Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) and the Carillon Hotel in Paris, on November 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops were deployed around Paris on Sunday, and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth, while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the attacks. The incident pictured here turned out to be a false alarm.
Peter Dejong / AP
This Thursday, January 22, 2015 photo made with a long exposure shows the glow from a Noctiluca scintillans algal bloom along the seashore in Hong Kong. The luminescence, also called sea sparkle, is triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, according to University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye. Noctiluca itself does not produce neurotoxins like other similar organisms do. But its role as both prey and predator tends can eventually magnify the accumulation of toxins in the food chain, according to R. Eugene Turner at Louisiana State University.
Kin Cheung / AP
Revelers enjoy the atmosphere during the opening day or ‘Chupinazo’ of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls fiesta on July 6, 2015, in Pamplona, Spain.
David Ramos / Getty
Lamon Reccord, right, stares down a Chicago police officer as he and others march through Chicago's Loop on November 25, 2015, one day after murder charges were brought against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl performs on a throne of guitars at RFK Stadium on July 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Grohl had the throne built to allow him to continue performing after breaking his leg in a fall during an earlier concert in Sweden.