This year in pictures: The best images from 2015
American presidential candidates hit the campaign trail this year as the race for the White House heated up. National security, gun violence and the greater war on terror became key issues in the campaign, in the wake of mass shootings, accusations of police brutality and fear of homegrown terrorism. Once considered a longshot for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump has outlasted many of of his critics and managed to capture the media spotlight and a leading position in the polls.
The year was also shaped by an international refugee crisis, brought about by prolonged war in Syria and the greater Middle East, as Western nations grappled with how best to restore stability to the region and stem the tide of those desperately trying to flee.
Wildfires and drought in the Western United States, devastating earthquakes in Nepal and Pakistan and other natural disasters emphasized the importance of addressing climate change, as was done in Paris in December, when ministers from nearly 200 countries finally reached an agreement to reduce carbon emissions and put the brakes on global warming.
Hopefully this year will also be remembered for some uplifting moments. Scientists found water on Mars, the U.S. women’s national soccer team clinched the World Cup title for the first time since 1999, and American Pharoah was the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978. Pope Francis visited the U.S., and Cuba and the U.S. normalized relations after more than 50 years.