2015 the year in pictures
2015: The year in picturesNew Year's fireworks explode over Big Ben in London.
Law enforcement officers stand outside the funeral of fallen New York police officer Wenjian Liu. Some officers turned their backs while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke on a monitor. The mayor's critics believed his comments after the death of Eric Garner contributed to an anti-police sentiment that led to the shootings of Liu and his partner, Rafael Ramos.
NASA releases a stunning new image of the so-called Pillars of Creation, one of the space agency's most iconic discoveries. The giant columns of cold gas, in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, were popularized by a similar image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995.
A masked gunman runs toward a victim during a terrorist attack at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine. From January 7 to January 9, a total of 17 people were killed in attacks on Charlie Hebdo, a kosher grocery store, and the Paris suburb of Montrouge. Three suspects were killed by police in separate standoffs. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attacks.
U.S. President Barack Obama reaches out to shake hands with someone after he had just spoken in Phoenix about the housing market and the economy.
The eyes of Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier appear at an anti-terrorism rally in Paris. More than a million people took part in the demonstration, a gesture of unity just days after Charbonnier and 16 others were slaughtered.
U.S. Sen. John McCain fools around with colleagues upon arriving at a news conference in Washington.
Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theatre in Denver. For more than 50 years, Cosby has been one of America's leading entertainers: a noted comedian, an Emmy-winning actor and an innovative producer. But over the past year his reputation has been tarnished by allegations of rape. More than 40 women have spoken out to various media outlets about allegations of sexual misconduct. Cosby has vehemently denied most of the accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted young women seeking career guidance, but the stories have taken their toll on his reputation and bankroll.
Pope Francis wears a plastic poncho as he waves to well-wishers after a Mass in Tacloban, Philippines. During his five-day trip to the country, the Pope visited areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
An Afghan security officer aims his weapon at a man who was allegedly planning a suicide bomb attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
An animatronic polar bear visits the London Underground to mark the launch of "Fortitude," Sky Atlantic's new TV drama.
In this still image taken from video, a gunman storms NOS, a Dutch television station, and demands to be put on air. The unidentified man wanted 10-15 minutes to "tell his story," said Jan de Jong, the director of the state broadcaster. De Jong said the man put a gun to the head of a guard, who took him to a studio that was not in use. In video from inside the studio, police can be heard shouting before the man drops his weapon and is arrested. No shots were fired, and there were no injuries reported.
Starlings fly together before sunset in Rahat, Israel.
In this still image taken from video, TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 clips a bridge in Taipei, Taiwan, shortly after takeoff. The twin-engine turboprop airplane then plunged into the Keelung River. There were only 15 survivors among the 58 people on board. Pilots had grappled with engine problems before the crash, Taiwan's aviation safety agency said.
People watch as the Mount Sinabung volcano shoots ash into the air during an eruption in Karo, Indonesia.
An employee from the Tama Zoo in Tokyo pretends to check a tranquilizer's effectiveness on an employee wearing a snow leopard suit. The annual drill practiced what to do in the event of an animal escape.
An activist from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen is arrested by police in Lille, France, after protesting in front of the convoy of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, was on trial for aggravated pimping charges. He was acquitted in June.
A woman cries during a vigil as she sees photos of the three people who were killed at an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Three Muslim students -- Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 -- were found shot to death a day earlier. A 46-year-old suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, was charged with murder.
Rapper Kanye West performs during the 40th anniversary special of "Saturday Night Live."
A pro-Russian rebel rests in Debaltseve, Ukraine, one day after a skirmish with Ukrainian troops. Fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels has left more than 6,000 people dead since April 2014, according to the United Nations. A recent ceasefire, the so-called Minsk Agreement, has been repeatedly violated.
Philadelphia firefighters work at the scene of an overnight blaze. The cold weather made icicles out of their water.
A woman reacts as she walks to a cemetery to attend the funeral of Carnival stampede victims in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At least 16 people were killed during an accident involving an electrical shock on a float, government officials said. Video from the scene appeared to show a power line striking a man atop a float. Chaos erupted, and revelers ran in all directions. Officials canceled Carnival activities and declared three days of national mourning.
People run from an explosion at a gas station and storage facility near the Bakara market in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, seen through a red flag, attends a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow on Defender of the Fatherland Day.
A U.S. soldier salutes while jumping out of an aircraft in Germany.