Climate change, Freddie Gray, refugees, ISIS -- these are just some of the names and terms we've become more familiar with since the start of 2015. The year began in tragic fashion with the attack at the office of Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 12 were killed. Throughout the year, many discussions were had on how to best handle violent threats from the Middle East, especially from militant terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State.
Related to the continued violence from Islamist groups is the severe refugee crisis in both the Middle East and Europe, as families displaced by war and danger attempt to flee to a safer, better life. Fears rose over the hot-button topic of allowing refugees into European countries and the United States after it was reported that a militant posed as a migrant from Syria, then entered Paris and helped to orchestrate the year's second terrorist attack on the city, when 130 were killed on November 13.
Stateside, deadly mass shootings in Charleston, South Carolina and San Bernardino, California, among others, spurred heated arguments about gun control. We also saw ongoing demonstrations against police brutality, and events related to the upcoming presidential election made headlines all year long.
Click through the slideshow above to see the most iconic, newsworthy photos from 2015's biggest stories.
More year-end roundups on AOL.com:
24 greatest discoveries of 2015 from Swiss cheese holes to a new cancer source
Notable deaths: People we lost in 2015
Most notable magazine covers of 2015
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