Morning headlines: Pujols deadline approaches, STL Art Museum fights to keep mummy mask, Mo. Senate panel advances legislation preventing union fees requirement

Feb 16, 2011
  • St. Louis Cardinal's manager Tony La Russa says first baseman Albert Pujols and his representatives are being pressured by the players' union during contract negotiations. Pujols is eligible to become a free agent after the World Series and has set a deadline for 11 a.m. CST today to reach an agreement on a new deal. Pujols has vowed to cut off negotiations once he arrives at spring training. La Russa said Tuesday he thinks the three-time National League MVP is being pushed to set a new standard with his contract. Alex Rodgriguez's $275 million, 10-year deal with the Yankees is baseball's current high.
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Art Museum has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to keep a 32-hundred year-old mummy mask that Egypt wants returned. The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. The museum claims the U.S. government is trying to seize the mask and return it to Egypt. The museum says it has legal rights to the mask it purchased from a New York art dealer for $499,000 in 1998. Egyptian officials have claimed the mask was stolen in the early 1990s from a storage room near a pyramid. The suit claims there is no proof the mask was stolen. It also claims the statue of limitations has expired for any seizure.
  • A Missouri Senate panel has advanced legislation that would prevent people from having to pay union fees as a condition of employment. The legislation cleared the Senate General Laws Committee on a party-line vote Tuesday, with Republicans backing it and Democrats opposing it. The vote means the bill can now move to the full Senate for debate. Voters rejected a measure in 1978 that would have made Missouri a "right-to-work" state. But union membership has declined since then, and Republican lawmakers say the potential for unionized shops discourages some businesses from coming to Missouri. Democrats counter that argument by saying that unions supported by fees from employees have helped to ensure workers earn a good wage in Missouri.