Samsung Electronics on Thursday reported a near 20 percent decline in second quarter net profit, blaming increased competition from cheap Chinese devices in the key smartphone sector and a surging Korean won. The South Korean electronics giant said net profit came in at 6.25 trillion won ($6.1 billion) -- its lowest figure for two years and down 19.6 percent from the same quarter last year. "The second quarter was affected by several factors including the slow global sales of smartphones and tablets and escalating marketing expenditure to reduce inventory," the company said in its earnings report. Thursday's figures were in line with earnings estimates released earlier this month, when Samsung also issued an explanatory note attributing the profit decline to increased competition from cheap Chinese devices.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel pressed ahead with its Gaza offensive saying it was days from achieving its core goal of destroying all Islamist guerrilla cross-border attack tunnels, but a soaring Palestinian civilian toll has triggered international alarm. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet on Wednesday approved continuing the assault launched on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists. Israel has lost 56 soldiers to Gaza clashes and three civilians to Palestinian shelling. Israel said its forces were attacked by guerrillas near the school, in northern Jabalya, and had fired back.