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Dispute Between Cab Drivers and Airport Employers Grows

In the latest development in a conflict that has been a problem in Minnesota for awhile now has taken place Monday, with the Metropolitan Airports Commission voting unanimously on Monday to order Muslim taxi cab drivers to pick up all passengers, regardless of whether or not they are carrying alcohol. Transmitting alcohol in this way goes against the Koran, but starting May 30th any cab drivers who refuse service will be given suspensions, according to the article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. There were 27 alcohol-related refusals out of an estimated 120,000 cab rides from mid-November to January. The issue is not as bad as it was in the summertime, but many muslim cabbies have expressed intent to continue to refuse if the situation comes up again, regardless of threats of suspension. It is expected that neither side of the dispute will step down, and that it could lead to a national test case on the issue.

The article opens by summarizing the issue as though the reader were not familiar with it, despite it being a presence in the news media off and on over the past few months. It then segues into the results of the recent vote and the results, and then into the reactions of the director of the airport and muslim scholars. Statistics are then given that show the extent that the issue may affect the community. The last part of the article is interesting because it focuses on the issue's potential for a court case, citing a precident involving the amish and road laws, and its potential application in this instance.

The Pioneer Press article about the subject chooses to emphasize the airport's decision upfront in its lead. THis is different from the Star Tribune's coverage, which places that decision in the third graph. Again, the issue of transportation with the Amish case from 1990 is brought up, but some different people are quote and overall the article seems to flow much better, and rather than what feels like a choppy series of statements and figures almost becomes a narrative, closing with an effective quote a local Muslim prayer leader and cab driver supporter, giving the story a human element.

For these reasons I prefer the Pioneer Press article. It establishes the overall issue/conflict, but then goes on to explain the recent decision in the lead and overall as an article just flows a lot better. The note it chooses to end on was also successful, in my opinion.