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Aid groups horrified by Kosovo ‘cleansing’

GOOD MORNING: “They killed my daddy, they killed my house, they killed my dog. Why did they do it?” That’s what a small child, one of the over 359,000 refugees from the “cleansing” in Kosovo, asked filmmaker Daphna Edwards who was in Albania with a mission of mercy. She left L.A. May 3 with a group from the Jewish Federation, flying into Tel Aviv where they picked up a planeload of items of life which they brought into Tirana Albania, where the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has set up an emergency office and is operating. Edwards joined a group including Doctors Without Borders. Edwards told me conditions in the camps are beyond belief. “The stench is so bad I threw up twice. I gave away the bottles of water I brought with me. At one camp two children had died of dehydration. Women were using holes in the walls for their physical needs and those of their babies. The children are crying endlessly — not knowing what has happened. No one understands what has happened.” Edwards and her group continued on to Budapest where another camp was established and then flew a group of Muslim children to settle in Israel. JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel) has airlifted 100 Kosovar Muslim refugees to Israel and 100 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies on seven planes. Edwards has chroni-cled the fast, weeklong trip on film and is urging people to help — the children: Call (212) 687-6200. “My focus is on the children,” Edwards said. She had earlier completed writing/directing a feature, “Footsteps,” AMCO-financed, about child abuse. It stars Karina Lombard, Maria Conchita Alonso, Sandra Bernhard and Tippi Hedren.

PRESIDENT CLINTON AND SHOWBIZ: DreamWorks hosts a major fundraiser starring Andrea Bocelli, Saturday at Greystone mansion in BevHills. DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen host and will be on hand for the event, which benefits the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They hope to raise upwards of $1.5 million. Democratic Senate Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Democratic House Leader Dick Gephardt, (D-Mo.) will be on hand with the President, who is fresh from Monday’s D.C. conclave on youth violence in which he spoke of the entertainment industry’s responsibilities — along with those of others, like home and, yes, gun manufacturers and sellers … Bocelli is a fan of Clinton’s and David Geffen had helped arrange a meeting at the White House last year. Bocelli phoned friend-writer Tony Remis (Italian lyrics of Carole Bayer Sager-David Foster’ “The Prayer”) Tuesday ayem to say he’d be flying in for the Clinton tribute from a concert in Portugal. He’ll sing accompanied only by piano. The Clinton dinner (by Wolfgang Puck) will be for 100 guests at $25,000-per (and up) … Donald O’Connor has fully recuped from pneumonia, which hospitalized him in Palm Springs in Feb. and he will return to work on the closing weekend of the Palm Springs Follies’ eighth season, May 28-30. The ninth edition will open Nov. 2. The O’Connors have moved back to their home in Sedona, Ariz. … Storyline, headed by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron is setting some kind of production-time record: their “Double Platinum,” starring Diana Ross and Brandy, airs May 16 on ABC, and upcoming are “Forget the Never” with Mia Farrow and Martin Sheen on CBS, the in-production “Flowers for Algernon,” starring Matthew Modine and Kelli Williams for CBS, “Annie” starring Kathy Bates and Alicia Morton for ABC, and the Lorna Luft “Me And My Shadows” for Col TriStar TV and ABC.

THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER — stays together: when William Macy’s wife Felicity Huffman stars on stage in Boston in David Mamet’s new play, “Boston Marriage,” Macy says he will not work — but instead spend his time stage-siding with her there. And then on to London and N.Y.? They are currently costarring in TNT’s original movie “A Travesty” which Macy and director Steven Schachter scripted (from Donald Westlake’s novella). Macy (Oscar-nominated for “Fargo”) has four unreleased pix and says he will take time off — to be with his wife. She, by the way, hopes they’ll reteam, telling me, “He’s a great actor — he carries me through every scene” And he heard her say it! … Jimmy Rogers, 87 and the son of Will Rogers, came out of retirement to make a presentation to Bob Stack of the BevHills Chamber of Commerce “Will Rogers Award” sponsored by the Northern Trust Bank at the BevHilton … Producer Jon Landau was on hand at Par for the TheatreVision screening of “Titanic” to 100 blind athletes who had raced for the gold in the special Olympics held at Universal City. Landau let the youngsters feel the pic’s Oscar. “Titanic” director Jim Cameron and Angie Dickinson had described the movie for the blind. Landau and others from “Titanic” are among those to be honored at the Vision Awards, June 19 at the BevHilton. Paul Haggar, Exec V.P, of Post-Production at Par chairs the awards and Rick Nicita, Mike Medavoy, Ann Daly and Barry Meyer and Peter Roth co-chair. Bill Cosby is TV’s Man of the Year. And lifetime achievement awards of Vision go to Don Ohlmeyer and Chuck Jones.