DRY weather and careless grave-sweeping were blamed for over 100 hill fires during the Chung Yeung festival. As thousands of people lit incense and swept graves, firemen put out 11 blazes on Hong Kong Island, 16 in Kowloon and 100 in the New Territories. One of the worst was at Wo Hop Shek, where fire raced across the night skyline. Hundreds of thousands of Tamil refugees in northern Sri Lanka fled from advancing government troops. Aid officials said urgent action was needed to prevent starvation and disease among the civilians, who have fled Jaffna city, the stronghold of the separatists Tamil Tigers, and surrounding towns. The military is poised to capture the city on the Jaffna peninsula after weeks of fighting on its outskirts. An inmate at the Stanley Prison, Chim Sing-chung, has successfully won a trial against the Correctional Services Department's (CSD) infringement of the Bill of Rights as the racing supplements of the newspapers he subscribed to were removed. The CSD explained that their act was to combat illegal gambling, but Mr Justice Sears asserted that the authority should follow the law and the Bill of Rights. Students will be allowed to change their preferences for universities and courses after the announcement of the results of their A-Level examination in July under a more flexible admission system next year. US authorities have ordered Daiwa Bank of Japan to cease all of its banking operations in the United States by February 2. The move was made in response to the bank's senior staff concealing US$1 billion (about HK$7.7 billion) losses from trading in US treasury securities. The bank will be submitted to a 24-count indictment which could lead to fines of more than US$1 billion. The death toll from 'the storm of the decade' - Typhoon Angela - which hit the Philippines last week, may reach 700, with half-a-million people left homeless. Most of the victims lost their lives in the uncontrollable flooding that devastated Quezon province. Millions of pesos' worth of crops and property were damaged. About 50,000 people were forced to flee when a two-metre mud wave swept down Mount Pinatubo. Bullfights look likely to be re-introduced in Macau next February following the opening of its new international airport on Wednesday. The opening of the airport means that bulls can now be air-freighted direct from Portugal. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead in the early morning of November 5 as he left a huge peace rally at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv. A 25-year-old law student with links to the Jewish extremist fringe confessed to the crime. But Mr Rabin's assassination would not disrupt the Middle East peace progress, Israel vowed. Plans by China's State Education Commission to expand its pilot AIDS education programme to all universities and high schools could be thwarted by conservative school administrators. Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos marked her return to politics by taking her seat in the House of Representatives on Monday. But analysts doubt she will rise to anything beyond that. The United States Consul-General in Hong Kong, Richard Mueller, warned that the US would be forced to treat Hong Kong as just another part of China if Beijing reneges on promises of autonomy and independent free trade policies for the territory after 1997. China assured Hong Kong that the territory's Government Information Services (GIS) would be independent of Xinhua (the New China News Agency) and would not become a mainland propaganda machine after the takeover. Director of Information Irene Yau Lee Chee-yan received the reassurance when visiting the Hong Kong and Macau Affair Office's Deputy Director, Wang Fengchao, this week.