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News Digest: I thought I'd die, says Ebola nurse leaving hospital

By Staff Reporters

The Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola has revealed how the illness took her from wondering "what all the fuss was about" to the brink of death.

Pauline Cafferkey (39) was discharged from hospital on Saturday after making a complete recovery following three weeks in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital.

She told a newspaper how her symptoms took time to emerge, but by her lowest point she believed she would die and told her doctors: "That's it. I've had enough. I can't carry on."

Ms Cafferkey is now "very happy to be alive" and looking forward to a bath, seeing her family, a Chinese meal and returning to her day job working with children under five.

Ukip attacks MEP over Tory defection

Nigel Farage has hit out at the Ukip's former communities spokesman Amjad Bashir after his defection to the Conservatives.

Ukip said it had suspended Mr Bashir shortly before news of his decision to join the Tories emerged, and Mr Farage said the party had become "increasingly alarmed" about allegations of impropriety.

Mr Bashir dismissed his former party's move as a "desperate attempt" to smear him to distract from the news of his decision to join the Conservatives and insisted there was "not a shred of truth" to the claims.

But Mr Farage said the MEP "didn't tell us the truth" about the alleged employment of illegal immigrants in his restaurant business and there are "some big open questions in Brussels about money".

There were also claims of interference in candidate selection and links with "political extremists" from Pakistan.

Later, Respect MP George Galloway said his party de-selected Mr Bashir as a council candidate in 2012. The Bradford West MP refused to say what the issues were that led to his sacking, but said: "Clearly both Ukip and the Tories have lower standards."

Dozens killed with city under siege

Dozens of people have been killed and wounded in an attack by Islamic extremists on a city in the north-east of Nigeria.

Troops are blocking roads leading to Maiduguri, a city of more than one million, preventing civilians from escaping.

Amnesty International says hundreds of thousands of civilians "are now at grave risk".

An officer involved in the fighting said the extremists attacked on three fronts around Maiduguri. He said dozens of fighters were killed. Military spokesman Chris Olukolade tweeted that "co-ordinated air and land operations are being conducted now".

Maiduguri has been attacked many times in Nigeria's five-year Islamic insurgency that killed 10,000 people last year.

The attacks come as US Secretary of State John Kerry was expected in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital nearly 1,000 miles away. Mr Kerry is concerned about possible violence around Nigeria's February 14 elections and will meet the main contenders, President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari.

Bodies of skiers killed by Alps avalanche recovered

The bodies of six skiers have been found a day after they were swept away by an avalanche in the Alps.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the skiers were killed near the town of Ceillac in the Queyras Massif, 200km north of Nice on the Italian border.

Mountain rescuers, including 18 searchers, two dog handlers and a helicopter began searching for the skiers on Saturday afternoon.

The bodies of the four men and two women - all French -were found yesterday morning.

Children release balloons instead of doves for Pope

Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace in St Peter's Square yesterday - a year after an attack by a seagull and a crow on the symbolic birds.

For many years children, flanking the pope at a window of the papal studio, have released a pair of doves on the last Sunday in January. The Catholic Church dedicates January to peace themes. Last year after the children with Pope Francis tossed a pair of doves from the window, a seagull and a crow swept down and attacked the terrified doves.

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