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Favorite photos of 2017: Grit, drama and adorable animals

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Maryam shows her father missing teeth.
Seven-year-old Maryam shows her father her missing teeth over video chat inside the apartment she shares with her mother and sister on Feb 1, 2017. Hasanain Mohammed was set to arrive in Minnesota two days after President Trump signed an order temporarily banning travelers from seven countries, including Iraq. Hasanain was stopped at the Baghdad airport by security guards who checked his ticket, so he was back home in Karbala, talking to his family over the phone. He was later reunited with his family.
Evan Frost | MPR News

It's an end of the year ritual in newsrooms, when choosing the best photographs of the year becomes an annual debate. Are these the most important images of the year? The most beautiful? The most representative of our state? Are we choosing the pictures of the year, or is this the year in pictures?

Our unscientific process this time around involved having staff and freelance photographers submit their personal favorites, asking reporters and editors in the newsroom to suggest the ones they found memorable, then having a group people who love photography weigh in on the more than 125 suggestions. Finally, it comes down to me, as the editor for visuals, to balance sad and happy, protests and progress, cute animals and stories of substance. 

So, without further ado, we present photos we really, really liked from this year, and hope that you'll enjoy them, too.