Iceland ex-PM might face charges in finance crisis

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland's former Prime Minister Geir Haarde has been referred to a special court in a move that could make him the first world leader to be charged in the financial crisis.

After a heated debate Tuesday, lawmakers voted 33-30 to refer charges to the court against Haarde for allegedly failing to prevent Iceland's 2008 financial crash - a crisis that sparked protests, toppled the government and brought the economy to a standstill by collapsing its currency.

Haarde faces up to two years in jail if found guilty. The court has never convened before.

GAO: Female execs get 81¢ for every $1 men receive

WASHINGTON - Female managers earned 81 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in 2007, a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office concluded.

The pay discrepancy had decreased by only 2 cents since 2000, the report stated.

"We found that being a mother was associated with lower pay," Andrew Sherrill, a GAO director, said at a hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee, composed of lawmakers from the House and Senate.

Women who have children at a young age face more challenges climbing the corporate ladder. They typically opt for flexible schedules that allow for child care, said Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who specializes in gender and compensation.

If women worked the same hours as men, they'd make the same amount of money, she added.

Other panelists scoffed at this notion. Women are sometimes forced to choose between motherhood and the corporate fast track, they said.

Men benefit from having children, often receiving more money once they become fathers, said Michelle Budig, an associate sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts.

Men and women might want to spend time with families while balancing work duties, but men are more likely to get what they want without pay penalties, one witness told the committee.

Wire reports