While President Barack Obama has put private pressure on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he is ready to step up public criticism of the ruling Middle Eastern regime if a government crackdown in that country is not eased. Privately, Obama has told Mubarak that Egypt needs to seize the moment and increase reform, not to expand the security state. The stock market in Egypt measured the country's uncertainty by taking its biggest drop in over a year this week. Egypt entered its third day of rioting Thursday, inspired by the recent coup in Tunisia. Protesters hope to topple the 30-year reign of Mubarak, as widespread unemployment and poverty has swept the younger generation during Mubarak’s rule. Meanwhile, one of Mubarak’s biggest foes, Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, will soon return to Egypt, a move that is expected to further incite Mubarak’s opposition.
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