Twin terror attacks in Paris book-ended a year dominated by the fight against Islamic State in Syria and the resulting exodus of refugees.

In Britain, the Conservatives swept back into power in a surprise election victory, the SNP took almost complete control of Scotland, support for the Lib Dems evaporated, and Labour lurched to the left with the appointment of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader. The US saw yet more mass shootings, accusations of police brutality and race riots, while Donald Trump somehow emerged as the leading Republican candidate in the bid to succeed Obama.

Here at IBTimes UK, we have chosen the 100 biggest and best news photos of the year. This gallery contains the first 50, covering January to July 2015.

See part two of our round-up of the year's biggest news photos here.