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Gorbachev tours lifeless streets of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev toured New Orleans on Friday as an emissary of the global environmental movement, but his first view of the devastated Lower 9th Ward inspired a momentary return to his socialist past.

"If things haven't changed by our next visit, we may have to announce a revolution," he said through a translator, as he walked the lifeless streets with well-wishers and staff members of Green Cross International, a non-governmental organization which he chairs.

Gorbachev promised to return in five years to measure the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which has so far been tangled by bureaucratic delays.

"No matter the flooding and the hurricane, the red tape and bureaucracy survive," he said.