Britain, Germany and the United States advanced plans on Tuesday to spearhead a new NATO force on Russia's border from next year, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap checks on combat readiness across his armed forces.

The United States will not bring any specific proposals at a Paris conference meant to set out a framework for fresh negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians nor has it decided what, if any role, it may play in the French effort, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

After a flurry of boat departures that sent hundreds of migrants to their deaths in the Mediterranean, survivors told police they had been kept for weeks on one meal a day in holding houses near the Libyan shore.

Leaders in the Baltic countries and Poland fear the force NATO plans to deploy on their territory is too small and symbolic to deter an attack by Russia, whose 2014 annexation of Crimea is fresh in the memories of the former Soviet-bloc states.

Two men are dead, including a gunman, following a shooting at the University of California, Los Angeles, police say. Investigators do not believe there are any outstanding suspects and a lockdown has been lifted.