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Vector Capital this week announced that it has raised $1.4 billion for its fifth fund, which will continue the San Francisco-based private equity firm's focus on buying challenged technology companies (a.k.a. "special situations"). Firm founder and chief investment officer Alex Slusky spoke via phone with Axios, during which he shared some rare Silicon Valley praise for President Trump:

On Trump's China talk

"A trade war with China is not in anyone's interest, but the U.S. government being forceful with China about opening its markets to U.S. technology companies would be welcome and overdue. China is the black hole for most of our software and tech companies…

It is not unusual for our portfolio companies to sell more to Australia, with less than 1/50th the number of people, than in China, where the only explanations I can think of are that China is putting up non-tariff barriers through either regulations or implicit government instructions to not buy American. So I actually appreciate the Trump Administration getting tough with China. Companies like Apple are big enough to stand up for themselves, but there are a lot of smaller tech companies that aren't."

On corporate tax cuts sparking M&A boom

"The vast majority of deals we've done in the past 10 years didn't involve us competing with strategics, because the companies were too complex and had too many challenges. But it would create more opportunities for us to exit down the line."

On buying stranded startups

"Over the past three years we've acquired three or four companies from VC firms that were no longer really in a venture state, but which didn't present easy, high-priced exit opportunities for them... So we bought CollabNet from Benchmark and IPValue from General Atlantic and Triton Digital from Oaktree. Plus Allegro from North Bridge.

There is a proliferation of these companies, which some VC firms might see as problem children in their portfolios. Plus some companies that have gone public but which have disappointed in the public markets and where the VC still has a large equity holding. We're absolutely focused on those opportunities."

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.