Former world champion boxer Antonio Cermeno has been kidnapped and killed amid escalating violence in Venezuela. The retired sportsman, who two world titles in the 1990s, was abducted in Caracas on Monday (24Feb14) along with his wife and family members, and his body was found a day later (25Feb14) riddled with gunshot wounds and dumped at a roadside.
Former featherweight Cermeno's relatives are believed to have escaped unharmed.
The 44 year old's death comes amid a wave of anti-government demonstrations which have gripped the country as residents protest against high crime rates. It is also the latest high-profile killing in recent weeks after former beauty queen Monica Spear and her British husband were murdered in the country last month (Jan14).
Friends, family and fans of murdered model/actress Monica Spear paid tribute to the star at her funeral on Friday (10Jan14). The former Miss Venezuela, 29, and her estranged husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were shot dead during an attempted robbery on the Puerto Cabello-Valencia highway in Venezuela last Monday (06Jan14).
The couple's joint funeral took place in the country's capital city of Caracas on Friday, and thousands flocked to pay their respects.
It is not known if the couple's five-year-old daughter, who was shot in the leg during the raid, attended.
Five suspects have been arrested over the robbery.
Police in Venezuela have already rounded up five suspects linked to the sickening murder of model and actress Monica Spear on Monday (06Jan14). The former Miss Venezuela, 29, and her ex- husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were killed during an attempted robbery after their car broke down on Puerto Cabello-Valencia highway.
Bandits reportedly opened fire on the couple after Spear and Berry locked themselves inside the vehicle as they approached. The couple's five-year-old daughter, Maya, was also shot in the leg, but is expected to live.
Police believe the murder is the latest in a New Year crime wave that has hit Venezuela, claiming bandits are disabling vehicles and then attacking motorists as they wait for assistance.
Model and actress Monica Spear has been shot dead during a sickening week of murders in her native Venezuela. The former Miss Venezuela, 29, and her estranged husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were killed during an attempted robbery after their car broke down on Puerto Cabello-Valencia highway on Monday (06Jan14).
Bandits reportedly opened fire on the couple after Spear and Berry locked themselves inside the vehicle as they approached.
The couple's five-year-old daughter was also shot in the leg, but is expected to live.
The family was on vacation in Spear's homeland and was expected to return to the U.S. this week (begs06Jan14).
Spear, full name Monica Spear Mootz, began her career as a model and went on to win the Miss Venezuela title in 2004.
She also tasted success as an actress and landed leading roles in several telenovelas, including La Mujer Pefecta and Flor Salvaje.
Her former co-star Jencarlos Canela paid tribute to the tragic actress in a tweet on Tuesday (07Jan13) and promised to look after her daughter, Maya.
His translated tweet reads: "I'm without words. I will miss my friend @MonicaSpear. And I love you, beautiful Maya. You are not alone!"
Admit it. You've heard it while station surfing the dead radio airwaves, you've watched the video in its entirety (voluntarily or not) on MTV. And yes, you've even caught yourself unintentionally singing the insistently catchy chorus, "Do-di-do-do...Oops, I did it again, Di-da-di-di, I played with your heart..." We admit it.
Like million of teenyboppers, we also have been listening to (and, watching) Britney Spears' new ditty, "Oops! I Did It Again," religiously since the debut of her video on MTV's "TRL" (that's "Total Request Live") at No. 1 on April 12.Everyday we tune in to try make sense of the plot line (not to mention the "Titanic" reference), and everyday we end up arveling at the blood-red, skintight bodysuit in which the popstress does most of her regimented dance moves.
So imagine our genuine concern when the 18-year-old singer began to show signs of instability on the "TRL" countdown just a week or so after her video's premiere. First, the space-themed video was dethroned by billionaire boyband N' Sync, then it tumbled all the way down to No. 9 last week (only to miraculously bounce back to the No. 1 spot on Monday).
Weird. Troubling even.
Given the strange sequence of events, we started entertaining paranoid thoughts common to the news trade: Is the swift roller coaster ride that Britney Spear is undergoing on "TRL" prophetic of the trajectory her upcoming sophomore album, the similarly titled "Oops! I Did It Again," will take when it hits record stores on May 16?
Judging from the song's radio airplay record in the past two weeks, the answer to the first question is probably no.
While her "TRL" stock may fall (and rise), things are only looking up on radio. According to weekly airplay data provided by the music trade mag HITS, "Oops!" was logged at 48,000 spins last week, up from 39,080 for the previous week.
"We look at MTV and what it does, but we don't really look at 'TRL.' It does influence sales, but just because the video doesn't do well just means that it's just not request-friendly," HITS' Paul Karlsen told Hollywood.com. "... I'd say [the album] will debut at No. 1 [on the sales chart], selling about 6-7 hundred thousand units."
And just to get a second opinion, we also sought out some street-level expert knowledge, aka the units-pusher at a local Wherehouse randomly chosen for the purpose of this inquiry.
"Yeah," said one disinterested Wherehouse worker curtly when we asked if people have been calling about the new Britney Spears album.
There, now we can all rest assured.