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Total Makes Mozambique Visit

The logo of French oil and gas company Total is seen at a petrol station in Paris, France, February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
The logo of French oil and gas company Total is seen at a petrol station in Paris, France, February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

The head of French energy giant TotalEnergies is expected this week to visit Mozambique, where a multi-billion-dollar gas project has been on hold since a 2021 jihadist attack, according to government sources.

CEO Patrick Pouyanne is to fly to the southern African nation to discuss conditions for the possible restart of operations in restive Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanne "will hold meetings... for the resumption of activities interrupted as a result of the terrorist action," a Mozambican official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He is expected to hold talks with President Filipe Nyusi and government ministers, the sources said.

TotalEnergies said it did not comment on travel arrangements.

Mozambique has set high hopes on vast natural gas deposits -- the largest found south of the Sahara -- that were discovered in the Muslim-majority northern province in 2010.

If all the deposits are tapped, Mozambique could become one of the world's 10 biggest gas exporters, according to estimates.

But the region has since been hit by an insurgency waged by Islamic State-linked militants, casting doubt over the scheme.

TotalEnergies halted its $20 billion LNG project in 2021, after a deadly raid on the coastal town of Palma.

The attack triggered the deployment of forces from Rwanda and southern African countries which have since helped Mozambique retake control of much of Cabo Delgado.

But sporadic and low-level jihadists attacks continue in part of the province.

Pouyanne's visit is likely to fuel expectations that TotalEnergies is closer to resuming work in the impoverished region.

In November, the first export shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the area left Mozambique for Europe.

But the LNG was produced at Coral Sul, a floating facility managed by Italian company Eni.

The deep-water scheme has so far been spared from the risk of attack, whereas Total's project is onshore.

The conflict in northern Mozambique has claimed more than 4,500 lives, 2,000 of them civilians, and forced around a million people to flee their homes.

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Meta Toughens Content Curbs for Teens on Instagram, Facebook

FILE - Woman holds smartphone with Meta logo in front of a displayed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture
FILE - Woman holds smartphone with Meta logo in front of a displayed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture

WASHINGTON — Meta on Tuesday said it was tightening up content restrictions for teens on Instagram and Facebook as it faces increased scrutiny that its platforms are harmful for young people.

The changes come months after dozens of U.S. states accused Meta of damaging the mental health of children and teens, and misleading users about the safety of its platforms.

In a blog post, the company run by Mark Zuckerberg said it will now "restrict teens from seeing certain types of content across Facebook and Instagram even if it's from friends or people they follow."

This type of content would include content that discusses suicide or self-harm, as well as nudity or mentions of restricted goods, the company added.

Restricted goods on Instagram include tobacco products and weapons as well as alcohol, contraception, cosmetic procedures and weight loss programs, according to its website.

In addition, teens will now be defaulted into the most restricted settings on Instagram and Facebook, a policy that was in place for new users and that now will be expanded to existing users.

This will "make it more difficult for people to come across potentially sensitive content or accounts in places like Search and Explore," the company said.

Meta also said that it will expand its policy of hiding results to searches related to suicide and self harm to include more terms.

Leaked internal research from Meta, including by the Wall Street Journal and whistle-blower Frances Haugen, has shown that the company was long aware of dangers its platforms have on the mental health for young people.

On the platforms, teens are defined as being under eighteen, based on the date of birth they give when signing up.

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