Jan 7: Two masked gunmen storm the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly magazine, in Paris, and kill 12 people, including the paper’s top editor, Stephane Charbonnier; several cartoonists; and two police officers. Five others are critically injured. The provocative magazine has published charged cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad, most religions, the pope, and several world leaders.
Jan 8: Boko Haram takes over Baga, Nigeria, the only major town in Borno State to resist being taken over by the group. The militants burned the city to the ground and massacred hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens, making it one of the most deadly assaults by Boko Haram.
Jan 23: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dies. He is believed to be 90. His half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, assumes the throne.
Feb 3: Islamic State militants immolate Jordanian Muath Kasasbeh, a flight lieutenant pilot captured during US-led attacks. In response, the Jordanian government executes two terrorists and vows revenge. Kasasbeh’s execution followed the murder of two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.
Feb 6: Islamic State announces that its last US hostage, Kayla Mueller, 26, is killed when a building collapses after being hit by a Jordanian airstrike.
Feb 14: Two people are killed in two attacks in Copenhagen. In the first attack, one man is killed after a gunman fires into a cafe where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks is speaking.
Vilks, who is on a list of Al-Qaeda targets for his Prophet Muhammad caricature, is unharmed in the attack. Three police officers are wounded.
Feb 15: A group of militants aligned with Islamic State beheads 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped from Sirte. Egypt responds by launching airstrikes on Derna, a militant stronghold in eastern Libya.
Feb 27: A vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Boris Y Nemtsov is shot and killed in Moscow. The shooting takes place on a bridge near Red Square, not far from the Kremlin.
March 6: Boko Haram pledges allegiance to the Islamic State. The move further extends the reach of the Islamic State, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East ruled by strict shariah law.
March 18: At least 20 people are killed when two gunmen, Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui, conduct a shooting spree at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.
Neither of the assailants has known connections to terrorist groups. Security forces kill the gunmen, and two or three accomplices are believed to have escaped.
April 2: Al-Shabaab militants attack Garissa University College in northeast Kenya. In a day-long siege, the militants separate Muslims and non-Muslims, sparing Muslims. The non-Muslims are taken hostage and more than 140 are killed. Security officials free the surviving hostages and kill the four gunmen. In a statement, al-Shabaab says the attack was a planned “operation against the infidels”.
April 2: Despite the interference by the US Congress and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, the US and the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany agree on a detailed and comprehensive framework for the future of Iran’s nuclear programme.
April 21: Mohammed Morsi and 14 members of the Muslim Brotherhood are found guilty of ordering the torture and illegal detention of protesters in Egypt. They are sentenced to 20 years in prison. The charges stem from violent protests against Morsi in December 2012. They are acquitted of inciting the murder of a journalist and two opposition figures.
April 27: Forces in Nigeria advance into the Sambisa Forest and begin freeing 300 women and children who were taken hostage by Boko Haram.
April 28: The Nigerian military destroys 13 Boko Haram camps and frees 400 women and children.
April 29: A firefight between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram kills over 400 Boko Haram rebels.
May 2: The Duchess of Cambridge Catherine gives birth to her second child, a girl named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is fourth in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth II, her great-grandmother.
May 8: David Cameron’s Conservative Party breezes to victory over Labour in the general election. The Conservatives win enough seats to secure an outright majority in Parliament, and Cameron earns a second five-year term as prime minister.
May 14: Legendary blues musician BB King dies.
May 16: Mohammed Morsi is sentenced to death by a court in Egypt in a separate case to the one in which he was tried last month. This case involves a prison break of scores of members of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2011.
May 29: In another step toward resuming full diplomatic relations, the US removes Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
June 4: US officials announce that the data of at least four million federal employees is involved in a breach by hackers who have been traced to China. The data breach is one of the largest ever of federal employee data and involves past and present employees.
June 26: A gunman, identified as 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui, opens fire at the Port El Kantaoui resort in Tunisia, killing 38 tourists. It is the second attack on tourists in Tunisia in three months. In March, an attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis killed 22 people. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
June 29: Greece misses a critical debt payment of 1.5 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund, increasing the country’s financial crisis.
July 1: Cuba and the US reach an agreement to open embassies in Washington DC and Havana.
July 14: Iran and the group of six nations – the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – reach a historic agreement to limit Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Aug 1: During the summer of 2015, the Balkans route replaces the Mediterranean as the most travelled path by migrants.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees projects that 3 000 people a day will attempt to cross the Balkans to reach Western Europe in the coming months. The German government estimates that 800 000 migrants will seek asylum there by the end of 2015, coming from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan to escape war and conflict.
Aug 14: The US flag is raised outside the newly reopened embassy in Havana during a ceremony in which Secretary of State John Kerry also speaks.
Aug 17: A bomb explodes inside Erawan Shrine, a popular site for tourists in Bangkok, Thailand. The blast kills at least 20 and injures more than 123 others.
Aug 21: Three Americans – Alek Skarlatos, a specialist in the National Guard; Airman First Class Spencer Stone; college student Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman – overpower a man armed with an AK47, a pistol and a box cutter as he walks down the aisle on a train outside Paris, France.
Aug 24: Islamic State militants destroy several important antiquities, including the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the most majestic and well-preserved structures in Palmyra, Syria, and a fifth-century Roman Catholic monastery.
The immigration crisis in Europe intensifies throughout September. Migrants continue to flee war and conflict in Afghanistan, Syria and regions of northern Africa, pouring into the Balkans at a rate of about 3 000 a day.
Sept 1: In a unanimous vote, Guatemala’s Congress strips President Otto Perez Molina of his immunity. He resigns the following day.
Sept 28: The Taliban seizes control of Kunduz, a northern Afghanistan city. It is the first major city that the Taliban has captured in over a decade.
Oct 3: A US airstrike hits a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Twenty-two people are killed, including 12 hospital staff members and seven patients.
Oct 10: Two separate explosions kill nearly 100 people during a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey’s capital. Hundreds more are wounded in what is the deadliest attack in Turkey in years.
Oct 15: During the first two weeks of October, 32 Palestinians and seven Israelis are killed in what was the biggest spike in violence in the area in recent years.
Oct 29: China announces it will now allow all married couples to have two children as a way to offset the country’s aging workforce.
Nov 4: China and Taiwan announce a first meeting of their leaders in 66 years. The meeting scheduled to take place in Singapore would be the first since 1949, when the Chinese revolution ended.
Nov 8: Early results indicate that Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party wins Myanmar’s landmark national elections by a landslide.
Nov 13: Islamic State launches three co-ordinated attacks in Paris, killing 129 people and wounding hundreds. Eighty-nine people die in an assault at a concert hall, the Bataclan, where an American rock band, the Eagles of Death Metal, is performing at the time.
Nov 17: Hours after Russia acknowledges that a terrorist bomb brought down a Russian passenger plane on October 31, President Vladimir Putin agrees to join with France in the fight against Islamic State.
Nov 20: At least 27 people are killed after Islamic extremists storm into the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali’s capital. At least 170 people are taken hostage. The militants are armed with grenades and guns. Special forces from the US and France work quickly with Malian troops to take back the hotel, floor by floor.
Nov 24: Turkey shoots down a Russian warplane for invading its airspace. At least one of the two pilots is killed. Turkish officials say that the plane ignored repeated warnings as it crossed over into its airspace from Syria.
Nov 30: The UN Climate Change talks begin at a convention centre just north of Paris, France. The summit marks one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in history.